Deception & Misdirection

Republicans Get Shot… and Then Get Blamed For It


Markos Moulitsas and the Daily Kos are at it again.

Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos, is quick to blame Republicans for yesterday’s shooting, just like he did six years ago when Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot.

In 2011, Giffords and twenty other people were shot during a constituent meeting in Tucson, Arizona, by Jared Lee Loughner, a schizophrenic leftist. Almost immediately, the Daily Kos ginned up a lie that Sarah Palin was responsible for inciting the attack on Giffords because she had drawn crosshairs on twenty “targeted” congressional districts, including Giffords’.

Never mind that the shooter, Loughner, turned out to be a Left-wing, Bush-hating lunatic. The New York Times ran with the smear in 2011, disingenuously tying the “Palin ‘target’ map” to Loughner, and they’ve stuck to their guns. It was an unprovable lie, of course, but the leftist media won’t let good fake news go to waste. Palin’s PAC, not Palin herself, they now claim – hint-hint, nudge-nudge – drew a map showing targeted congressional districts held by Democrats, including Giffords, speciously drawing a connection between voter registration symbols and crosshairs to imply “Stalinist” Palin wanted Giffords murdered. Of course, the Times adds, “no connection to the shooting was ever established.” Take the hint.

Sarah Palin’s PAC created this image of GOP-targeted congressional districts. Image via OutsideTheBeltway,

Democrats have used similar “targeted districts” maps for years. Image via OutsideTheBeltway,

As Dr. Steven J. Allen wrote at the time, implying the use of the word “targeted” was military is inane. Never mind that Loughner never saw the crosshair map; “target race” is an established phrase in U.S. politics on both sides of the aisle going back at least as far as Abraham Lincoln.

By their own logic, the Daily Kos should be accused of plotting Giffords’ murder by publishing a January 6, 2011 piece angrily denouncing Giffords:

The smear of Palin was particularly vile in that, as I reported that day, it was led by people from the left-wing Daily Kos website, which had recently declared Giffords, in a headline, “DEAD TO ME” for supposedly betraying her party by voting against radical Nancy Pelosi for Speaker. Yes: The closest thing to a death threat against Giffords was issued by the people who, within minutes after the shooting, falsely blamed Palin for issuing what they claimed amounted to a death threat. And the major media not only accepted the Palin smear as reasonable, and repeated it endlessly, but they made it the focus of all the major Sunday morning “news” interview shows that followed the tragedy.

That’s the closest thing to a real death threat against Giffords – not that the mainstream media was paying attention.

But old lies die hard. Just hours after yesterday’s attack that left Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four staffers critically injured was reported, Moulitsas tweeted: “Republicans are getting what they want.” Except that it turned out that this shooter – James Hodgkinson – is a demented socialist and ardent Sanders campaign volunteer.

Bernie Sanders was quick to distance himself from Hodgkinson. That is perfectly fair, of course. What the senator failed to mention was how in 2011 he dishonestly used the Moulitsas lie about Palin to gin up a fundraiser, when it served him to take advantage of the Giffords shooting. In an email sent to Arizonans, Sanders demanded Sen. John McCain “stand up and denounce the increasingly violent rhetoric coming from the right-wing.”

Congresswoman Giffords publicly expressed concerns when Sarah Palin, on her website, placed her [Giffords’] district in the cross-hairs of a rifle – and identified her by name below the image – as an encouragement to Palin supporters to eliminate her from Congress…

Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?

The Hodgkinson shooting is a clear case of Left-wing violence. Hodgkinson is rabidly anti-Republican. He has called Donald Trump a “traitor” who “has destroyed our democracy,” issuing a call to “destroy Trump & co.” and “terminate the Republican Party.” His social media oozes with progressive political slogans and anti-conservative opinions, leaving no doubt about where Hodgkinson stood politically.

Yet somehow Moulitsas and the Left have managed to make Hodgkinson’s politically motivated attack on Scalise the Republicans’ fault.

Lazy journalism only adds to the story’s haze. ABC reported Hodgkinson had a concealed carry permit and bore an “assault rifle.” The Los Angeles Times reported the rifle shots “sounded like they were coming from an AR-15” – a dishonest and idiotic attempt to make this story into a case for gun control legislation, as an AR-15 (the rifle so often held up by Left-wing journalists as the chosen weapon of murderers) cannot be identified strictly by sound. Capitol Police have identified the weapon as a semiautomatic SKS-style rifle modeled on a 1940s Soviet design.

The New York Times Editorial Board released a piece that day entitled, “America’s Lethal Politics,” calling the shooting a “particularly American form of terror.” The Times hardly mentions Hodgkinson – laughably calling him a “sniper” (Hodgkinson is 66 and overweight; he has no military training and missed most of his shots) before conjuring up the Giffords and Palin fiction to lecture the “heated political rhetoric on the right.”

The day of the Virginia shooting, Sarah Palin released a statement saying Bernie Sanders is “not to blame” and asking the media “to be more careful than they were back when Giffords was shot.” Palin’s integrity should be applauded since she apparently has enough for the both of them, but if the Left has its way the smear campaign will continue.

Sometimes the most effective power in the media’s arsenal is to simply ignore real news.

Update: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has sued the New York Times for portraying her as “responsible for inciting the 2011 shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords.”

“Today, Sarah Palin took a stand against The New York Times Company by filing a lawsuit which seeks to hold The Times accountable for stating that Governor Palin is part of a ‘sickeningly familiar pattern’ of politically motivated violence and that she incited the horrific 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords,” lawyers for Palin said in a statement.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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